China's Most Generous


The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation releases its inaugural list of 2015’s top 100 Chinese philanthropists

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2015 Overview


This original database includes individual philanthropists giving in Mainland China between September 2014 and August 2015, the geography of giving and receiving, causes supported, industries represented, and level of generosity.

$3.8 Billion

Donated and Pledged

0.03%

Of China’s GDP

Key Findings


  • Wang Miaotong, Chairman of Century Huatong Co. Ltd. in Zhejiang province, tops the 2015 Generosity Index at 5.61% of his publicly disclosed net worth.
  • He Xiangjian, founder of Midea Group Co. Ltd. in Guangdong, tops the 2015 Giving List at ¥400 million ($63 million).
  • China's wealthiest prefer to give in their home provinces – six out of every 10 RMB donated by the Top 100 is given locally. China’s poorest areas such as Tibet, Xinjiang, Ningxia, Gansu and Yunnan combined received only 1.96% of top 100 giving.
  • Education is the most popular cause of choice. Despite the acute environmental challenges facing China in 2015, environmental causes rank last in funding received.
  • Total donations and pledges of the Top 100 account for a quarter of national donations in 2014.
  • 4 out of the top 10 philanthropists hail from the real estate sector.
  • 24 of these donors have never appeared in major philanthropic rankings.
  • Mean: ¥52 million ($8.2 million). Median: ¥20 million ($3.1 million).
  • China’s top philanthropists average 54 years of age. In the U.S., average giving as a percentage of net worth increases with age.
  • China’s philanthropists are professionalizing, with 17 donors operating their own foundations in 2015.

Top 10 - Generosity


1

Wang Miaotong

¥101 Million
  • Age: 58
  • Generosity: 5.61%
  • Province: Zhejiang
  • Industry: Manufacturing
  • Focus: Social Welfare
Wang Miaotong is the Chairman of Century Huatong Co. Ltd., which is specialized in producing engines and automotive parts. *Donations were made entirely through his corporation.
2

Chen Chichang

¥100 Million
  • Age: 44
  • Generosity: 5.36%
  • Province: Guangdong
  • Industry: Education
  • Focus: Education
Chen Chichang is the Chairman of Guangdong Qtone Education Co. Ltd., which provides online education services to students in primary and secondary schools, parents and teachers. *Donation was made entirely through his corporation.
3

Li Defu

¥100 Million
  • Age: 57
  • Generosity: 5.03%
  • Province: Tianjin
  • Industry: Real Estate
  • Focus: Healthcare
Li Defu is the Chairman of Yongtai Vcanland Holding Group Co. Ltd., with primary business interests in real estate development. He is also the Chairman of Zhongyuan Union Cell & Gene Engineering Co. Ltd, which is specialized in detection and storage of stem cells.
4

Zhou Xuzhou

¥13 Million
  • Age: N.A.
  • Generosity: 4.94%
  • Province: Anhui
  • Industry: Real Estate
  • Focus: Education
Zhou Xuzhou is the CEO and Chairman of U-Home Group Holdings, which is engaged in the healthcare, chemical product, and real estate industries. *Donations were made entirely through his corporation.
5

Ke Xiping

¥31 Million
  • Age: 55
  • Generosity: 4.38%
  • Province: Fujian
  • Industry: Real Estate
  • Focus: Education, Social Welfare
Ke Xiping is the Chairman of Hengxing Group Co. Ltd., with business interests in real estate, mining, investment, and trade.
6

Zhou Fangjie

¥15 Million
  • Age: 51
  • Generosity: 3.31%
  • Province: Zhejiang
  • Industry: Tech/IT
  • Focus: Education
Zhou Fangjie is the Chairman of Ningbo Ligong Online Monitoring Technology Co. Ltd., which manufactures monitoring products for high voltage electricity equipment.
7

Liu Shui

¥68 Million
  • Age: 46
  • Generosity: 2.70%
  • Province: Guangdong
  • Industry: Other
  • Focus: Education, Environment
Liu Shui is Chairman of Shenzhen Techand Ecology & Environment Co., Ltd., which engages in the eco-tourism, ecological restoration, and landscape business. *Donations were made partly through his corporation.
8

Wang Yusuo

¥303 Million
  • Age: 51
  • Generosity: 2.69%
  • Province: Hebei
  • Industry: Energy
  • Focus: Education, Disaster Relief
Wang Yusuo is the chairman of ENN Group Co. Ltd., with businesses ranging from natural gas and chemicals to solar energy. *Donations were made entirely through his corporation and corporate foundation.
9

Deng Wei

¥31 Million
  • Age: 52
  • Generosity: 2.59%
  • Province: Beijing
  • Industry: Tech/IT
  • Focus: Education
Deng Wei is the Chairman of BOCO Inter-Telecom Holding Co. Ltd., providing software solutions and related technical services for the telecom and transportation sectors. *Donations were made entirely through his corporation.
10

You Zhisheng

¥10 Million
  • Age: 70
  • Generosity: 2.39%
  • Province: Sichuan
  • Industry: Tech/IT
  • Focus: Education
You Zhisheng is the Chairman of Wisesoft Co. Ltd. The company, based in southwestern China’s Sichuan province, is a software and systems solution provider specialized in air traffic control.

Top 10 - Giving


1

He Xiangjian

¥400 Million
  • Age: 73
  • Generosity: 1.00%
  • Province: Guangdong
  • Industry: Manufacturing
  • Focus: Social Welfare
He Xiangjian is the founder of Midea Group Co. Ltd., a Guangdong-based producer of household appliances. *Donations were made entirely through his corporate foundation.
2

Wang Jianlin

¥315 Million
  • Age: 60
  • Generosity: 0.27%
  • Province: Beijing
  • Industry: Real Estate
  • Focus: Education, Social Welfare, Disaster Relief
Wang Jianlin is the Chairman of Wanda Group, a major conglomerate with business interests in commercial property, culture & tourism, cinema, sports, and the consumer sector. *Donations were made entirely through his corporation.
3

Tang Lixin

¥315 Million
  • Age: 52
  • Generosity: N.A.
  • Province: Sichuan
  • Industry: Real Estate
  • Focus: Education
Tang Lixin is the founder and Chairman of Shinesun Group, engaged in real estate development, business operation management, financial investment, IT sales and software & hardware development.
4

Xing Fuping

¥310 Million
  • Age: N.A.
  • Generosity: N.A.
  • Province: Jilin
  • Industry: Real Estate
  • Focus: Education
Xing Fuping is the Chairman of Livon Group in northeastern China, engaged in real estate development. *Donation was made entirely through his corporation.
5

Wang Yusuo

¥303 Million
  • Age: 51
  • Generosity: 2.69%
  • Province: Hebei
  • Industry: Energy
  • Focus: Education, Disaster Relief
Wang Yusuo is the chairman of ENN Group Co. Ltd., with businesses ranging from natural gas and chemicals to solar energy. *Donations were made entirely through his corporation and corporate foundation.
6

Xu Lianjie

¥279 Million
  • Age: 62
  • Generosity: 1.99%
  • Province: Fujian
  • Industry: Manufacturing
  • Focus: Social Welfare
Xu Lianjie is the CEO of Hengan International Group Co. Ltd., a manufacturer of household and personal hygiene products. *Donations were made entirely through his corporation.
7

Lu Chaokang

¥220 Million
  • Age: 54
  • Generosity: N.A.
  • Province: Chongqing
  • Industry: Real Estate
  • Focus: Education
Lu Chaokang is the Chairman of Kangde Industrial Group Co. Ltd., with primary businesses in real estate development, construction, and property management. *Donation was made entirely through his corporation.
8

Lu Zhiqiang

¥150 Million
  • Age: 63
  • Generosity: 0.46%
  • Province: Beijing
  • Industry: Real Estate
  • Focus: Education
Lu Zhiqiang is the founder and Chairman of China Oceanwide Holdings Group, engaged in real estate development, energy, and capital investment. *Donation was made entirely through his corporation.
9

Jack Ma Yun

¥132 Million
  • Age: 51
  • Generosity: 0.14%
  • Province: Zhejiang
  • Industry: Tech/IT
  • Focus: Education, Environment, Social Welfare, Disaster Relief
Jack Ma Yun is the founder and Chairman of Alibaba Group, one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies. *Donations were made partly through his corporation and corporate foundation.
10

Wu Shaoxun

¥126 Million
  • Age: 59
  • Generosity: N.A.
  • Province: Hubei
  • Industry: Consumer
  • Focus: Education, Social Welfare
Wu Shaoxun is the Chairman of Jing Brand Co. Ltd., a Wuhan-based maker of wine and spirits. *Donations were made entirely through his corporation.

Guangdong – Land of Giving


The southern province of China is home to 21 philanthropists who donated about ¥1.1 billion, making it the most generous region in terms of absolute giving and number of donors. He Xiangjian, founder of the electrical appliance manufacturer Midea, leads with ¥400 million donation in 2015.

Real Estate Gives


China’s booming property market has minted the most top philanthropists. Nearly a third of the country's top 100 donors come from the construction/real estate industry, followed by Manufacturing (19), Consumer (14) and Technology (13).

Education Takes


Education causes receive the lion’s share with 59 philanthropists making contributions. Poverty Alleviation/Social Welfare is the second most active sector (52), followed by Disaster Relief (8) and Healthcare (8). Significantly, giving to environmental causes ranks last.

Government Takes the Lead...


Though high-profile scandals have eroded trust in government-backed charities, they continue to play a dominant role. More than half of the philanthropists (57) donate to government or state-affiliated charities.

...But Private Donors are Rising


Top Chinese donors are increasingly developing their own systems for professionalized philanthropy. Nearly a fifth of the donors on this list have established their own personal or family foundations as a vehicle for giving.

Gender Inequality


China's top donors are overwhelmingly male, with only 11 of the Top 100 philanthropists this year are women.





89 male philanthropists

11 female philanthropists

About the Project


The rise of private wealth is one of the most important developments in modern China, with implications for the country’s social, economic, and political arenas. How individuals choose to deploy such resources will shape the relationships between the individual and the state, between the state and business, and between the state and the social sector.

This project aims to strengthen understanding of China’s philanthropic landscape by analyzing the makeup and choices of China’s most generous individuals. We hope the introduction of a metric on level of generosity, while imperfect, will add a new dimension to the discussion on how China’s wealthy choose to support charitable causes. We welcome comments and suggestions on our analysis and methodology through the email address listed below. The findings compile data from a variety of sources including media reports, company websites, corporate filings and trade journals. When possible we have further verified the data by directly contacting the philanthropist or the recipient of the gift.

We believe that an independent, verified, and research-oriented database on China's philanthropic giving will enable much-needed quantitative research on the sector and provide a crucial resource for government, academic, media, and non-profit organizations.

We will supplement the database with a range of case studies, white papers, academic articles, and interviews with leading philanthropists and leaders of philanthropic organizations.

This website will be updated annually. The 2015 report was compiled by: Peiran Wei (MC MPA '15, Harvard Kennedy School), Zijia Guo (MIB '15, The Fletcher School of Tufts University), Qinqin Wu (MDes '15, Harvard Graduate School of Design), Cuimei Zhang (Ed.M '15, Harvard Graduate School of Education) and Evan Kornbluh (MPP/MBA Candidate, Harvard Kennedy School/Harvard Business School).

Research team